By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the COVID-19 situation in Iran, the health ministry reported a record 655 COVID-19 deaths Monday, bringing total deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 98,483.

Image/tetracarbon via pixabay

Health authorities have warned that daily deaths might reach 800 in coming weeks if Iranians fail to respect health protocols.

The sharp surge in cases and deaths has forced the clerical establishment to allow imports of vaccines made by U.S. and British companies, which Iran’s top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had forbidden in January.

In addition, the government has announced a six-day country-wide shutdown to curb the rise in deaths and infections, which starts today. The national anti-coronavirus task force said the nationwide shutdown will begin on Monday and last through Saturday. All offices, banks and non-essential businesses will be shut down.

Iran has reported more than 900,000 COVID-19 cases in the past month, including more than 10,000 deaths.